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Kill and Run by Lauren Carr

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Kill and Run by Lauren Carr Kill and Run by Lauren Carr
Narrator: C.J. McAllister
Series: Thorny Rose Mysteries #1
Published by Acorn Book Services on October 14, 2016
Source: iRead Book Tours
Genres: Mystery
Length: 11 hrs 1 min
Format: Audiobook
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Five women with seemingly nothing in common are found brutally murdered in a townhome outside Washington, DC. Among the many questions surrounding the massacre is what had brought these apparent strangers together only to be killed.

Taking on his first official murder case, Lieutenant Murphy Thornton, USN, believes that if he can uncover the thread connecting the victims, then he can find their murderer.

Before long, the case takes an unexpected turn when Murphy discovers that one of the victims has a connection to his stepmother, Homicide Detective Cameron Gates. One wintry night, over a dozen years before, her first husband, a Pennsylvania State trooper, had been run down while working a night shift on the turnpike.

In this first installment of the Thorny Rose Mysteries, the Lovers in Crime join newlyweds Lieutenant Murphy Thornton and Jessica Faraday to sift through a web of lies and cover-ups. Together, can the detectives of the Thorny Rose uncover the truth without falling victim to a cunning killer?

The mystery in Kill and Run was good. Carr lets you think you know who the bad guy is, right up until you’re wrong. Everything tied together, although some of the coincidences were a little tough to swallow. I don’t know why I thought this was going to be a cozy mystery, because it’s got a harder edge than that, which is not surprising considering Murphy is with NCI and a member of an elite secret force called the Phantoms. The tone of the narrator made it seem more like a thriller and less cozy, too. It does have a bunch of quirky animals, though, which is a cozy trait and the amateur sleuth – Jessica – who puts herself in dangerous positions.

There are a lot of characters in this. From Murphy and Jessica’s families to the military folks, it’s a lot to keep track of. I listened to the audio, I guess print and ebook versions have a cast of characters in the front, but I didn’t have access to that. For the most part, I could keep track of everyone, but it is a large cast. We do get to know the main characters well.

Jessica and Murphy are obviously in love and make a good couple. They’re both smart and their own people. I did find their pet names for each other a bit annoying. Oh, and let’s not forget that Jessica’s eyes are violet, as we’re told more than once.

It was a good mystery with lots of action and just enough clues. My main complaint is that it does rely a lot on coincidence to get everyone involved in the case. A solid read.

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About Lauren Carr

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, son, and four dogs (including the real Gnarly) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

A Fistful of Divas by Camille LaGuire

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A Fistful of Divas by Camille LaGuire A Fistful of Divas by Camille LaGuire
Series: Mick and Casey McKee
Published by the author on August 26, 2013
Source: Purchased
Genres: Mystery, Western, Short Story
Pages: 32
Format: eBook
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Young gunslinger detectives, Mick and Casey McKee, are eager to hear some opera singing. But when somebody takes a shot at some visiting divas, the concert is off. The ladies won't sing until Mick and Casey solve a case of blackmail and murder.

So I love Mick and Casey McKee. I wish there were more stories in the series. They are a gunslingers in the old west, a young married couple. And I do mean young. She’s maybe 17. He’s the talker, she’s the shooter and they make a great pair. This time around, the couple want to see singing at the local opera house. There’s a cute story why, involving Casey’s dad. Anyway, with these two nothing is ever simple. Just as they walk in to see who is warming up, there’s a shot, apparently aimed at one of the women on stage. If the ladies are going to feel safe enough to perform, Mick and Casey need to figure what’s going on and stop it.

The mystery was good, for a short story. The actual shooter’s identity is quickly established, but who hired him and why is the question. There are a couple clues and a nice, small list of suspects.

Like I said, I really enjoy the McKees. You get a good feeling for their relationship here. It’s not quite as good as the only full-length mystery in the series, Have Gun, Will Play, but it’s definitely worth the quick read.

Motion for Murder by Kelly Rey

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Motion for Murder by Kelly Rey Motion for Murder by Kelly Rey
Narrator: Lisa Kelly
Series: Jamie Winters #1
Published by Gemma Halliday Publishing on April 20, 2016
Source: Purchased
Genres: Mystery
Length: 7 hrs 26 mins
Format: Audiobook
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Jamie Winter loathes her job as a secretary in the sleaziest law firm in New Jersey. Trouble is, someone else loathes the whole firm - enough to kill one of the partners, the two-timing, 11-fingered king of lowbrow television commercial spots, Dougie Digits.

Now, Jamie is being strong-armed into investigating by Dougie's frosty widow, Hilary. The suspect list is long, including the firm's bookish paralegal, embezzling bookkeeper, ambitious associate, and resentful senior partners. Add to that list a mélange of oddball clients with grudges of their own, and Jamie has her work cut out for her. With assists from her studly landlord and husband-hungry sister, Jamie uncovers enough dirt on her coworkers to launch a tabloid in her hunt to find the killer before he or she strikes again!

Motion for Murder is a cute, light mystery. Jamie has a lousy job, but gets even worse when one of the partners in the law firm she works at is killed. One of her co-workers is probably the killer, the question is who?

I like Jamie. She’s funny, but she lets people take advantage of her. The reason for her investigating is a bit weak, though. Hilary, the widow, who she doesn’t like, has insisted that she look into one of her co-workers and her natural curiosity and/or worry that she might be next, keeps her digging around. I will say the killer’s identity caught me totally off-guard. It made sense, just wasn’t someone who was on my radar at all.

The secondary characters are a mixed bag. I like Curtis, Jamie’s landlord and love interest. He’s a good guy, but he rides the line between trying to keep Jamie safe and semi-encouraging her to investigate, which is a little odd. Her sister, Sherri, is TOO desperate for a husband. The other women who work at the firm are an odd bunch, I’m not sure which, if any, I was supposed to like.

I listened to the audio. While the narration was good, kept the story light and fit with Jamie’s character well, the quality was a little off. It was kind of like the narrator was on a speaker phone, if that makes sense. Once I got used to it, it wasn’t a problem.

Oh – and I got tired of hearing how tiny Jamie is and how much she eats.

This was a fun start to a series, but maybe I should pick up #2 as an ebook and not on audio.

About Kelly Rey

From her first discovery of Nancy Drew, Kelly has had a lifelong love for mystery and tales of things that go bump in the night, especially those with a twist of humor. Through many years of working in the court reporting and closed captioning fields, writing has remained a constant. If she’s not in front of a keyboard, she can be found reading, working out or avoiding housework. She’s a member of Sisters in Crime and lives in the Northeast with her husband and a menagerie of very spoiled pets.

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